Are you familiar with plantar fasciitis? It is the inflamed tissue that runs across the bottom of your foot and can occur from excessive running or walking, inadequate footgear, or a jumping injury from landing. There are more than 3 million cases in the US per year and it is very common. The good news is that it is usually self-treatable.
This week we'll discuss three pressure points in your foot that will help alleviate tension. Remember, if you are pregnant please consult with your doctor first.
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This area is on the corner of the pinky toe right near the toenail. If this point becomes blocked, Qi (vital energy) can back up along the pathway which in this case includes the calves, hamstrings, hips, sacrum, back, neck, top of the head, and eyes. Gently pressing on this area with your thumb and index finger (as if pinching your toe) helps eliminate both interior and exterior wind, clears headaches, and adjusts blurred vision.
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This area is behind the ankle bone on the outside of the leg, between the Achilles tendon and main ankle bone. It helps with headaches, neck stiffness, dizziness, and swelling, and pain of the heel. Use your thumb to apply light pressure to this point and massage it for a few minutes.
Spleen 6 Point (SP6)
This is the area on the inner ankle, about three fingers width above the inner ankle bone. It considered one of the more versatile and commonly used points for digestive, gynecological, and urinary disorders, as well as emotional and sleep disorders. Use your index finger to apply firm pressure on the point for a few seconds. Take a 1-minute break before repeating.
As the seasons change, it's important to do a mental and physical check-in with yourself and for April the focus is on reflexology. Most often we focus on areas of our body, such as our shoulders, and forget about taking care of our hands and feet. Both take a daily beating with every little acknowledgment from swelling in the wrist to sharp shooting pain at the bottoms of our feet.
Throughout the next few weeks, I'll teach you basic pressure point techniques -known as reflexology- that you can implement almost anywhere. Before we learn about releasing these points we have to understand what reflexology is. Simply put: reflexology is a form of bodywork that involves applying pressure to the feet and hands to help you relax. The practice rests on Chinese medicine, different parts of your body correspond with different pressure points. Reflexologists use maps of these points to determine where pressure should be applied. They believe that touching these points sends energy flowing through a person's body until it reaches the area in need of healing. Some of the health benefits include: reducing stress and anxiety, reducing pain, lifting moods, and improved general well-being.
As I mentioned last week, reflexology is a practice involving the pressure to specific points on the hands, feet, and ear lobes with multiple benefits -though not scientifically proven- that include but are not limited to reducing aches and pains and improving blood circulation. This week we’re going to take a closer look at the hands and what parts of the body it is connected to. There are 8 essential pressure points but for the sake of keeping this newsletter brief, we will go over 4.
The heart 7 pressure point can be found in the crease of your wrist. It is the space between your ring and pinkie finger. By applying gentle pressure to this spot it can protest against anxiety, insomnia, heart palpitations, and depression.
The small intestine 3 pressure point is located at the outside part of your hand, right on the edge. The point lies in the depression of your hand just below your pinkie finger. Putting firm pressure on this point will help relieve neck pain, earaches, and headaches that occur at the back of your head.
You can find your lung meridian pressure point by looking at the edge of your hand. It runs from the tip of your thumb down along the side of your hand, ending just beneath the crease of your wrist. Run your finger along this line. If you find a sore spot along the line, reflexologists say you should gently massage it until it feels better. This may help relieve any cold symptoms, such as chills, sneezing, runny nose, and sore throat.
Wrist Point 1
You can your wrist point 1 on your wrist. Run a finger down your pinkie to your wrist crease, keeping it in line with your finger. By firmly pressing on your wrist point 1 regularly will help promote happiness by regulating your emotions.
Please take note if you are pregnant/expecting, you should first consult with your gynecologist or doctor. Reflexology is said to be safe however, some doctors and/or reflexologists may prefer to wait until the end of your first trimester or suggest avoiding it altogether until you give birth.
Question: Should I book a 60-minute or 90-minute massage?
Answer: There are different kinds of massage modalities, each with different goals. Before booking your massage appointment, ask yourself what you want to achieve whether it's addressing a specific area in your body where you're experiencing aches and pains or if it's just to help you relax, and be pampered. If you're receiving a massage for the first time or if it's been a while since your last session, start with a 60-minute massage to get yourself acclimated. If you have multiple concerns or are healing from an injury, book a 90-minute session. Remember throughout your wellness journey your needs will change based on lifestyle factors such as fitness demands, the aging body, and life experiences. As always, if you're ever unsure about how long to book your session, please don't hesitate to contact me and I am happy to give you my advice.
Don't forget to take advantage of our promotion this month when you leave us a review on Yelp you can receive a 90-minute massage for $100 - that's a savings of $50! As Donna Meagle and Tom Haverford from Parks and Recs say, "Treat yo'self"!
Question: How does massage help with scar tissue from an injury or surgery?
Answer: Well to understand scar tissue, we have to first understand connective tissue which supports, protects, and gives structure to other tissues and organs in the body. It also stores fat, helps move nutrients between tissues and organs, and helps repair damaged tissue. There are also different types of tissue such as tendon, ligament and fascia, which are soft tissues composed of collagen fibers. All fibers have a certain pattern and direction that it typically "lays". When the tissue heals itself the fibers heal in different directions and most of the time it does not align with it's normal pattern. To help combat this, when you receive a massage the therapist is breaking up the scar tissue to help guide the fibers to heal in the correct direction. It is important to regularly massage your scar, even while at home. Below are a few suggestions:
1. Massage the scar 2 - 3 times per day with lotion for at least 5 minutes. Lotion (preferably with Vitamin E) will not only make it easier to massage the area, but also help avoid leaving scars.
2. Don’t concentrate on just the scarred area, but also the surrounding area because swelling can leave scar tissue behind.
3. An exercise I suggest is with your thumb or index finger, begin massaging in a circulation motion. Press firmly, but not to the point where it is painful. Maintain a circular motion around the scar then switch and rub in the other direction. This will help drain excess fluid from the area.
4. Another suggestion is putting the flat part of your finger on the scar. Move the skin and tissue under the scar back and forth, holding for a few seconds. Make sure you press enough to feel the scar "move" under your fingertips, but again not to the point where it is painful. Move your fingers along to the next section of the scar and repeat until you've massaged all along the scar.
For the month of March I will answer a client's question that's health, fitness or massage-related.
Question: I'm planning on running a half marathon in June. I have a training program, yet I'm unsure how I can speed up the recovery process?
Answer: First off, congratulations! Running a marathon is no easy feat. There are a few things you can do listed below that will help your body recover quicker than the average recovery time, which can be up to 7 days.
Have a question? Let us know in the comments below or shoot us an email.
We're officially two weeks away from daylight savings time and although we'll be losing one hour of sleep, I'm excited because daylight will be longer! With changing our clocks, we'll also be transitioning into Spring meaning nicer weather, warmer temperatures and more time outdoors to allow for social distancing activities, hopefully.
As the seasons change, it can have an effect on your skin, body, sleeping patterns and daily routines and all will vary from person to person. Below I've compiled a list of 3 things you can do to prepare for them.
1. During the winter and colder months, our skin tends to get dry and cracked which is why we exfoliate more in the winter. However, it's also important to exfoliate in the spring too! Adding exfoliation into your routine at least once a week will help your skin stay moisturized, hydrated, and glowing by shedding off built-up dead skin and dullness. The Madrona House of Apothecary Sugar Scrub is one of my personal favorites because it's gentle on the skin. Message us if you're interested in purchasing a jar!
2. With the arrival of spring, this means more outdoor markets and all the freshly grown fruits and vegetables with which it is accompanied. There have been studies proven that when a person consumes more fresh fruit and vegetables in their diet, it can produce a positive mental effect causing them to feel happier. This is the perfect reason to go out and support your local farmers market or even Pike Place Market!
3. Most of us have been indoors, not only because of the lockdown and lack of things open, but also because of the cold weather. Spring is the perfect excuse to get outside where you can easily practice social distancing and engage in more outdoor activities. Go for a walk or a run, join an outdoor bootcamp, or go hiking! It's been proven that having more fresh oxygen circulating throughout your body improves mental functioning, increase energy levels, and overall positive perception.
I'd love to hear any of your suggestions in the comments below.